“Ticket touting is illegal and is a clear exploitation of those who genuinely wish to experience the Games first-hand,” said the officer in charge of a crackdown on illegal ticket resellers, known in Britain as touts and in the United States as scalpers.
Here is a classic example of the free market at work, and the collectivist ideology attacking it with blunt force.
Scalping, of course, is nothing more than an individual purchasing a ticket and then reselling it to another at an agreed-upon price. Wikipedia does a pretty good job of explaining:
Ticket resale is the act of reselling tickets for admission to events. Tickets are bought from licensed sellers and are then sold for a price determined by the individual or company in possession of the tickets. (emphasis added)
Tickets sold through secondary sources may be sold for less or more than their face value depending on demand, which itself tends to vary as the event date approaches.
When the supply of tickets for a given event available through authorized ticket sellers is depleted, the event is considered “sold out”, generally increasing the market value for any tickets on offer through secondary sellers. Ticket resale is more common in sporting events and music events…
They make a business out of getting customers hard-to-find and previously sold-out tickets that are no longer available through the official box office.
In simple terms, resellers (or scalpers, if you will, although that word has a pejorative odor to it) take a risk by buying tickets in advance, hoping to profit from a higher price as the event approaches. The benefit to the buyer is obvious: he is able to attend the event by paying a higher price; otherwise he wouldn’t be able to attend at all. Resellers are meeting (they hope) a market demand and are willing to risk their capital in doing so.
But not at the Olympics. Said Detective Superintendent Nick Downing:
We have been, and will continue to seek out and take robust action against anybody who tries to cash in on the 2012 Games in this way…
I would also urge people to think twice about purchasing tickets from these criminals: if you do, you are likely to find yourself paying over the odds for them, while at the same time fuelling criminality.
Meeting needs of people is criminal, you see, and government will see to it that the practice is stopped.